Over the many years, my fondest memories and experiences have been with special children, adolescents and adults. Each special in their own right albeit due to a traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, or autism. I can feel their energy and their joy for life. Each struggles with their own identity trying to find their role in society. Often unbeknownst to them, they have an impact in more ways than one.
I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by some very special friends at work and it pains me to some extend that I will be parting ways with them soon to pursue another career opportunity. I thought about this over the past week and wanted to share a message of tolerance and acceptance to my readers. My life is fuller because I spent time with each most days albeit a couple of minutes talking about cartoons, their health or baseball.
As the word trickled out of my departure, I got a visit from my friend Lorraine. She barged right into my office looking upset, with tears in her eyes she asked me if the rumors were true. I immediately stopped what I was doing knowing that this deserved my full attention. I had dreaded this moment but knew it was coming. After trying to explain why I was leaving, Lorraine while crying just asked for a big hug. Now mind you, I’m 6’5″ and Lorraine barely reaching 5′, although ackward, we made it work and both felt comforted by our embrace. Lorraine followed by telling me some of the kindest words any one could ever hear and it felt truly sincere coming from her. I’m going to miss my friend Lorraine, she is very special and will always be a part of me.
My other two friends Colin and Will don’t know yet and I worry about their reactions especially my friend Colin. We chat every day about cartoons or his latest trip to the movie theater. Colin is truly mission driven and easily upset when his daily routine is not routine. I hope that we can find away to tell him without causing too much fuss.
I’m sharing this today because as a positude leader, I find it to be essential to be tolerant and inclusive. As leaders, we need to make time for special people and find opportunities for them to contribute as each has much to give. I could not imagine my life without them, they make my life experience fuller and along they way I hope that I have had the same effect on them.
Lorraine, Joe, Ela, Will and Colin, I love you and think the world of you….. you make our lives more complete each day.